A New York City police sergeant blamed her hair weave for a failed drug test that took place in January of 2017, the New York Daily News reports.
She tested positive for marijuana and was suspended for 30 days.
“I was shocked. I do not do drugs,” said Tracy Gittens, who claims that she was the victim of a false positive from her tainted hair weave, as she testified at her department trial at police headquarters Friday. “When they told me I tested positive, I immediately volunteered to take another test. It was impossible for the test to be positive.”
But she then went to her own doctor to get blood, hair and urine tests, and those came back negative for weed, Gittens claims. The problem, she argues, started when the cop who cut her hair during the initial test took a sample from her hair weave, which she wears in a ponytail.
Here are a few more details, from the New York Daily News:
During her testimony, Gittens said that when she paid to be independently retested, a nurse took a hair sample from the top of her head, not the nape of her neck as the officer at the NYPD’s Medical Services Division had done.
“I didn’t have my hairpiece on then,” she said of the second test. “(It was) all natural.”
The 43-year-old is now facing dismissal. She personally paid for a DNA test to prove the first sample wasn’t her original hair — but an analysis later showed it was a genetic match to her or a close relative, department prosecutors said.
“Unless a maternal relative somehow came in and switched out the samples with her own hair, there is no way this hair could be anyone’s but Sgt. Gittens,’” Department Advocate Office attorney Jeanie Moran said.
Gittens demanded that another sample be tested at a different lab, but that one came back positive for marijuana as well.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill will determine her future after a department trial commissioner decides Gittens’ guilt and makes a recommendation.